From time to time, you’ll find yourself dealing with a leaky roof and no easy solution. Maybe it’s a holiday weekend and your roof repair service can’t come for a few days, or maybe they’re waiting on supplies themselves. Whatever the cause, the situation likely calls for a temporary roof repair while you wait for a permanent solution.
Don’t let potential water damage to your home get any worse while you wait on permanent roof repairs. With careful efforts, you can make a temporary roof patch to prevent further problems. There are 3 primary methods of roof patching that you’ll likely have to do.
This is the simplest, cheapest, and most common solution–simply cover the affected area with a waterproof tarp. Cover the entire damaged area on your roof, smooth the tarp out, nail it in place, and cover the heads of the nails with a little roofing cement to seal any more tiny holes. Though this will keep the rain out in the meantime, a tarp is obviously not a permanent solution to the ultimate problem. Don’t delay the roof repair any longer than you can get away with.
Pro Tip: NEVER walk on your roof while it’s raining outside–the fall risk is simply too high. If you don’t get a chance to apply the tarp during a break in the rain, see if you can mount the tarp from inside.
Reattach Loose Shingles
If the leak is caused only by a few shingles beginning to come loose, the temporary fix is very simple. Smooth the shingles back down or shift them back into place, then nail or staple them to cover the exposed area again. Once again, this is not a permanent solution, but it offers slightly more leak protection than a tarp.
If the shingles have gone missing entirely or broken and you don’t have extras, you may have to jury-rig a temporary set of shingles in the meantime. Carefully cut out sheet metal in the shape of a shingle and attach it to the roof just as you would a typical shingle. Cover the nails with roofing cement to prevent the leak from coming back. Finally, keep a careful eye on your handiwork to make sure the leak doesn’t spread while you wait for a professional.
Protect the Rest of Your House
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the rain. Since a leak compromises this protection, it’s important to stop leaks as soon as possible. Though emergency work is a much better option, a temporary roof repair will do in the short term to save you thousands of dollars in further water damage to the rest of your house.
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